Monday March 30th, 2015
Monday March 30th, 2015
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CHUKWUMA AZUONYE @ 70

  /   in The Orbit 12:05 am   /   Comments

chukwuma Azuonye

Let us celebrate good men. Chukwuma Azuonye, poet, scholar, and belletrist; one of the most versatile and most sophisticated intellectuals of his generation in Nigeria, belongs squarely to that”interstial” generation in Nigeria: that is how I describe that group of people born between 1945 and 1955; between the end of World War II and the formal transition towards decolonization in Africa in the 20h century.

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Ohaneze’s endorsements and other matters

  /   in The Orbit 12:59 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

As the days grow shorter towards Nigeria’s general elections, two weeks hence on March 28, the stakes grow higher; campaigns fiercer, more laced with calumny and denigration, and the posturings are dense with hyperbole. In the high stakes game to win hearts and minds, politicians throw everything into the grinder, including the devil’s poop, to make a special kind of smoothie for public consumption.

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Stealing is not corruption, it is a crime

  /   in The Orbit 12:43 am   /   Comments

CORRUPTION-cartoon

Stealing is not corruption. Stealing is a crime punishable in law. Corruption is logically the inability of the institution, or the perversion of the institutions established by law to prevent stealing, or punish it when it happens.

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Buhari in Chatham House

  /   in The Orbit 12:16 am   /   Comments

Gen Buhari at Chatham House

The APC Candidate has been on a tour of the UK, chaperoned by his political campaign advisers Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Mr. Chibuike Amaechi. Two things are rather immediately clear from Buhari’s UK tours: one, the APC presidential candidate has been forced to sup on bitter gravy over lingering animosities with Britain following the Umaru Dikko affair. This trip it seems is in part, made on bended knees. Is this Buhari’s attempt to bury the ghost of the past and any other hatchets with Great Britain?

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Not so fast, Ms Helima Croft

  /   in The Orbit 12:44 am   /   Comments

*Obama

If you talk to Nigerians, you’re bound to hear an increasing chatter; a perception in Nigeria that the United States of America is currently waging a covert economic and cultural war on Nigeria. This is not even in the north – but in the south – traditional bastion of pro-America sentiment, where they love all things America.

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The Governorship in Imo

  /   in The Orbit 12:27 am   /   Comments

presentation: From left, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim; Deputy Speaker and PDP Governorship Candidate in Imo State, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, his running mate, Hon. Chuma Nnaji, and Chief Ozichukwu Chukwu, during the presentation of Ihedioha to the people of Isiala/Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, by Chief Ikedi Ohakim, yesterday.

Let me first make a quick comment on the recent controversy regarding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards, and the larger implication for protecting the right of suffrage for Nigerians. Voting in elections is both a right and an obligation for citizens of any nation under democratic rule, and it is incumbent on both the citizens and the state to protect that process.

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Agenda for the new president

  /   in The Orbit 3:02 am   /   Comments

Jonathan-Buhari

Whoever wins this forthcoming elections, will contend with profound challenges, and there is no doubt about that. Two of the critical challenges have to do with Nigeria’s economic security and the security of its homeland: the first, essentially, will be the challenges in grappling with massive revenue loss that might necessitate new, biting, austerity measures that will be a throw-back to the middle and late 80s.

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Buhari has Momentum

  /   in The Orbit 9:56 am   /   Comments

BUHARI-MILITARY

By some indications, simply by tracking all the polling numbers measuring possible outcomes for the February elections, it seems that Muhammadu Buhari, former Major-General of the Nigerian Army and former Military Head of state of Nigeria, has gained momentum in the polls in his current run for the presidency. The latest numbers by INEC showing the distribution of registered voters nationwide and by their regional or zonal propensities, pretty much reveals interesting realities in the current voting landscape.

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PDP ko, APC ni

  /   in The Orbit 7:38 pm   /   Comments

Jonathan or Buhari  who will you pick ?

Nigerians want change. They desire fundamental changes to the way things are currently in their lives at the visceral level. The trouble is that Nigerians themselves don’t seem to have decided or even determined what kind of change they wish for themselves. Change for what and to what? Here is a very basic question: what do Nigerians actually mean by “change?” What does the “change” they seek look like?

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Now, the die is cast….

  /   in The Orbit 12:31 am   /   Comments

Buhari and Jonathan

By noon on Thursday, it became clear that Muhammadu Buhari, retired Major-General of the Nigerian Army, and former Military Head of State of Nigeria (1984-1985), had emerged as the Presidential candidate for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2015 General elections. Buhari is not a stranger to Presidential elections. He has had a go at it consistently since 2003: he ran against Obasanjo; he ran in 2007 against Yar Adua; he also ran in 2011 against Jonathan, the incumbent President. In all of these cases, the Daura born Army General lost. He did not let such humiliating losses deter him. It rather seemed to have fuelled a greater resolve to continue on the marks. In his last outing, Buhari had publicly declared very solemnly to Nigerians that he was on his last elections and would not run for public office again after 2011.

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Zikism: Nigeria and Risorgimento

  /   in The Orbit 12:21 am   /   Comments

Late Dr. Nnamdi-Azikiwe

It does seem clear to many of us who still have, and are guided by a sense of history that Nigeria derailed from its historical course, and drifts, when it abandoned Zikist ideology as its foundational myth. Much of Nigeria’s history, particularly since the civil war, has been shaped by a cynical disregard and disinterest in nation-building.

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The police assault on the National Assembly

  /   in The Orbit 12:22 am   /   Comments

Tambuwal adjourns sitting till Dec 3, says House under siege

As the law permits, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal remains Speaker of the National House of Representatives, until the House convenes and the Majority Leader in the House musters the whip to get enough votes to elect a new speaker. It is fairly clear that the Job of the Speaker of the House is dependent largely on the privileges of the Majority party in Parliament or a governing coalition.

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We are all Boko Haram

  /   in The Orbit 12:20 am   /   Comments

Boko-Haram1

Boko Haram’s latest onslaughts in Potiskum and Mubi this past week draw our attention once again to the growing strength and defiance of its terrorist operations. If anything has defined the Jonathan presidency, it has been the Boko Haram insurgency, the single most dangerous political development in Nigeria since the civil war. In a sense, Jonathan is struggling with history, and the nature of his presidential legacy.

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P.O.C UMEH’S POETRY

  /   in The Orbit 1:23 am   /   Comments

Corruption1

Philip O.C. Umeh studied English at the University of Lagos; taught English at the Government College, Umuahia where he was senior English Master until 1978, and where he himself had been a student, from 1955 to 1961, one year below the writer and political martyr, Ken Saro-Wiwa in the famous school, to whom he addresses a eulogy, “To Ken Saro Wiwa” in his poems:

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Goodluck Jonathan’s Albatross

  /   in The Orbit 12:19 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan displaying Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms  at the People's Democratic Party's Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (30/10/14).

Of all those who emerged to lead the government in Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Nigeria’s current president is the darkest of its dark horses. Nigeria’s governments have always been led by dark horses – those least expected to emerge: Balewa was sprung from the political loins of the British colonial office; Yakubu Gowon from a concert of neo-colonial and regionalist military interests that dismantled the firm hierarchies of the Nigerian Armed Forces; Obasanjo from the need to enact balance and reassure Nigeria’s “foreign partners” after the assassination of Murtala Muhammed; as a much younger politician, Shehu Shagari was the late Sarduana’s “ears and eyes” in Balewa’s cabinet, and so the Caliph’s vizier, in Nigeria’s central government. In the second republic, while those who sought power actively were busy, he was taken from his senatorial ambition and made President, and on and on.

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Politics and poverty in Nigeria

  /   in The Orbit 12:01 am   /   Comments

Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, Gen  Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and Prince Tony Momoh at  African House , Government House Kano. Photo by A S Muhammad, Kano

Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, former Major-General and Military Head of state of Nigeria (January 1984 – August 1985) is back to the hustings. Politics is in the air and so too much of its confusing doublespeak, chicanery, and contradictions.

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Ebola: The diaspora and contagion

  /   in The Orbit 12:26 am   /   Comments

A seller of bananas walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Ebola" in Monrovia on August 31, 2014. Liberia on August 30, 2014 said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control. AFP PHOTO

By Oby Nwakanma The United States government was the first government in the world to respond with care and urgency to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. There is once more that example here of the United States as a force for good in the world. American health workers, in the discharge of their humanitarian

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As the political wheels turn

  /   in The Orbit 12:30 am   /   Comments

cartoon-politicans

By OBI NWAKANMA Readers of the “Orbit” may have noticed the absence of this column in the last month. Well, I have to occasionally be on a break from this column and from the affairs of the world, whose enormity sometimes can overwhelm even the most practical and sanest of men. The columnist sometimes has

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Ihejirika, sponsor Boko Haram?

  /   in The Orbit 8:05 pm   /   Comments

*Ihejirika

An Australian hostage negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davies made some startling statements last week, and it was widely reported by the on-line news magazine, Sahara Reporters. There was a certain inordinate glee in its reports, being as some of its critics now aver, that the folks at Sahara Reporters like to throw sand in the eyes of the Jonathan administration. To be fair, it is the professional duty of Sahara Reporters to throw sand in the eyes of the administration whenever it could, particularly where the administration is belligerent and hard of hearing on matters of grave national concern.

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National Identification and the Master Card

  /   in The Orbit 12:44 am   /   Comments

Last Tuesday, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan launched the Nigerian National Identity card to great expectations. The National Identity Card project has been long in the making. The first proposal for the National ID project was mooted in 1976, but various interests, including cultural and religious concerns, pressured the administration into abandoning the idea.

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The chicken and cow business in Enugu Government House

  /   in The Orbit 12:59 am   /   Comments

Onyebuchi: Chime asked me to take all instructions given by Mrs. Nwobodo

The Igbo have a rather pithy saying about fortuitous revelations. It is good, they say, that the wind blows now and then, or so that men too would know that the chicken has an anus. The chicken indeed does have an anus, and there is evidence of this in the Enugu Government House where an impeachment saga has opened up some funny chicken business.

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Ebola and the rest of us

  /   in The Orbit 12:02 am   /   Comments

Health workers evacuating the remains of an Ebola  Virus Disease victim.

I was on my way to Kigali in 1994, to report the brewing troubles in Rwanda, when the Ebola fever epidemic broke out in Zaire. Travelers were quarantined in the Kinshasha International Airport. All connecting flights to Kigali were cancelled. I contemplated the possibility of an Air Afrique flight to Arusha, in Tanzania, and from thence by car to Kigali.

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The US-Africa Heads of States and governments jamboree

  /   in The Orbit 12:09 am   /   Comments

US President Barack Obamar) talks with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria before their bilateral meeting in New York on September 23, 2013 on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly. AFP Photo

Fifty of Africa’s Heads of states and governments arrived Washington DC, the US capital last week for a conference with the American president, Mr. Barack Obama. But the universe was indifferent – well not quite – it had a rather morbid sense of humor: Ebola was in the ai

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Time for the liquidation of Boko Haram

  /   in The Orbit 10:35 pm   /   Comments

Buhari-kaduna-blast

Imagine this scenario: Boko Haram grows more sophisticated; more daring, recruits wider, establishes better training facilities, acquires deadlier arms and more potent military capacity, enough to subdue and carve out a wide swath of Nigeria from the Chad basin, to the Adamawa hills. It secures swaths of land from parts of Chad, parts of Cameroon, and parts of the Central African Republic, and it creates an effective new country in the very heart of Central West Africa. This scenario is not too far-fetched, and ought to worry Nigeria’s security analysts, because it seems to me that we have a new scale of a vast and unthinkable problem shaping from this insurgency.

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Fifty-four sham states will not the federation make

  /   in The Orbit 12:28 am   /   Comments

Artists representing Nigeria perform during the opening ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, held before the Group A football match between Brazil and Japan, at the National Stadium in Brasilia on June 15, 2013.  AFP PHOTO /

I doubt very much that a majority of Nigerians are tuned in to the goings on at the National Conference. A lot of Nigerians still regard it with some distrust. For one, it was constituted without the consent or input of the voting public; the citizens of Nigeria.

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Where is Emenike Ihekwaba?

  /   in The Orbit 12:16 am   /   Comments

As I write this, Hurricane Arthur lashes against the Cape Hateras, in the Outerbanks of North Carolina’s Atlantic Coast, where I’ve been vacationing with my family in the summer cottage of our friends, the Kladakis.
We are in the true eye of the hurricane. It is 2 am; the wind has gained strength, all is dark and silent; calm even; but for the eerie roar of the sea outside.

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The Fayemi example

  /   in The Orbit 12:42 am   /   Comments

Governorship Candidate, All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Kayode Fayemi; with his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, on the verge of casting their votes at Ogilolo Ward, Isan-Ekiti... on Saturday.

Democracy is a system of social organization in which profoundly conflicting interests clash, and are resolved in a ballot in which the highest number take precedence. But that’s not all of it: it is also a habit of the mind willing to accept the sacred results of the ballot. The ballot in a democracy is the Holy Grail; sacred because it is the expression of the highest will of the most important factor in the social contract: the governed.

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As The Eagles Fly…

  /   in The Orbit 12:03 am   /   Comments

UNITED STATES, JACKSONVILLE : JACKSONVILLE, FL - Forward Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States shoots and scores his second game of the game behind defender Joseph Yobo #2 of Nigeria during the international friendly match at EverBank Field on June 7, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. AFP

Last weekend, I drove from Orlando to Jacksonville, with my son, Kiran Amaechina, my cousin Chika, and his friend, Dozie Aguwa, to watch the Nigerian National team, the Eagles, play the US National Soccer team, in the final prep matches before the World Cup finals in Brazil. My son loves football – soccer they call it here – and plays as an attacking midfielder for a U-12 youth team, the “Spartans,” here in Orlando. So, I’m something of a “soccer dad.” I drive him around for his after-school practices and his many games and tournaments. And I love it.

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Nigeria’s democracy: Expensive shit?

  /   in The Orbit 12:56 am   /   Comments

Jonathan

Nigeria’s Afro-Jazz legend, Fela Kuti wrote a song in 1975, which he titled, “Expensive Shit.” It was a lyrical satire, an account of one of his numerous run-ins with the powers of the Nigerian state, which forced him once, as a means of collecting evidence on him to, not expectorate, but dislodge fecal matter. It was from suspicion that he had destroyed evidence by chewing and swallowing down marijuana.

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The Igbo and the National Conference

  /   in The Orbit 12:23 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

The Igbo are conducting what I call the inward gaze. I went to Chicago, therefore to articulate the following positions: that the Igbo must come to terms with their historical role and task as builders of a modern polynational state. In this task, they are in partnership with other nationalists for whom the Nigerian state built on justice, equity, and freedom is a historical imperative.

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A nation and her discontents

  /   in The Orbit 12:25 am   /   Comments

Nigeria

It is very true that Nigeria’s elite – its political, business and intellectual leadership – has much to answer for its regard of its historical role in shaping a better Nigeria for posterity. Part of the crisis of Nigeria is elite incoherence where it matters.

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America to the rescue

  /   in The Orbit 12:02 am   /   Comments

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria before their bilateral meeting in New York on September 23, 2013 on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly. AFP

As I write this, I have right here before me, the full text of the speech made to Nigerians by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, first president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Republic Day, October 1, 1963, titled, “Bravely Struggling Against Odds.”

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